Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a vine that can strangle life from a tree

I posted something really, really long yesterday; it's now two parts, the first and the second, for easier mental digestion. But, as this entire controversy dealt with two men, I really should mention him as well.

But first, more comments from the original article:

From "Anonymous" (really, at this point, who's surprised no one wants to tie their reputations to a fairly indefensible position?):
I don't believe that his word choice was meant to demean women, more it was chosen in a colloquial manner to express anger at a certain type of woman. By no means am I defending or condoning the choice, I am simply stating that it is like people choosing to use "faggot" or "retarded" as an insult. While it is wildly incorrect and insensitive, unfortunately, it is how the word has evolved in our society.
Yeah, so...about this.

To a certain extent he's right. Words evolve, meanings change. For example, if I refer to all this insanity as "hysteria", obviously I don't mean the term to refer specifically and solely to a woman so emotionally unbalanced that her desire for sex has taken over what small amount of brain-power she has. (Seriously, that's what it used to mean.)

How'ver, therein reveals the essential problem of oppressive language, doesn't it? If men call women "whore", it's obvious they don't mean she's literally selling herself; they just mean it as an insult, okay?

Which I suppose is fine on the face of it, until we give it any amount of consideration at all. Speaker A may not have meant to use "whore" as a pejorative to describe Speaker B; but its use as an insult means Speaker A means to insult Speaker B. By choosing that word over other words, that word must carry the meaning Speaker A means to convey.

It may not have been what he meant to say, but it's what he did say. Argument null due to logic loop.

(Just for reference, that tends to work the same way with other pejorative terms: "dude, that is so gay" or "stop being a fag"...seriously, most of the offhand insults in American society come down to two states: don't be gay followed by don't be female. In the hierarchy, it goes: straight men; gay men; straight women; lesbians. Because gay men are presumptively lower than straights; but still above straight women because they're still tacitly male.)

From that same poster:
I guess what I'm saying is that while crude and insensitive the meme is not addressing female nerds saying "get the hell out", but rather the imposters that use stereotypical props like black face to degrade us as a whole (once again, not condoning or defending, merely stating).
.....

I.....

What? No, seriously, what? Okay, so first, we're impostors if we're female, originally, but now, it's only those of us who use "stereotypical props" like...WHEN DID BLACKFACE BECOME A PROP?

Another "Anon" speaks up:
"Whore," for me, is anybody - male or female - who tries to portray themselves in some way to get attention. Beautiful, buff, geek-chic, ironic... whores, one and all.
It's good to know your definitions are so internally limiting...and nothing even close to what the word actually means.

But Manning isn't the only one catching heat for this. There's another fellow whose brain dropped out and bounced on the floor earlier. Again, it all started on Facebook. To wit:
"Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC. But we are onto you. Some of us are aware that you are ever so average on a daily basis. But you have a couple things going your way. You are willing to become almost completely Naked in public, and yer either skinny( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are ) or you have Big Boobies. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies? You are what I refer to as 'CON-HOT'."
Okay, there's so much more to this incoherent rant, but I'm taking this small section for slight dissection.

What he actually means:
  1. "You're not as hot as you think you are."
  2. "Real nerds are pathetic."
  3. "You think we're more pathetic than you are, but YOU'RE the pathetic one."
  4. "When you're not in costume, you're barely attractive."
  5. "You're a slut because you're wearing almost nothing in public."
  6. "You're fat."
  7. "You have really large boobs, but they're also not attractive."
  8. "Really, you're only hot because you're trapped in a hotel with a bunch of socially awkward fanboys with access to alcohol."
When he woke up this morning, this is really the impression he wanted to leave people with? That anyone who's remotely attractive can't be a geek? That anyone with any shame wouldn't dress like female cosplayers do? That female cosplayers are ugly, and contemptuous of con attendees? Really?

Isn't this like poisoning the water you're planning to drink? Essentially, when Harris' total work output is designed to be read by comics fans, and not all comics fans are male...this could severely cut into his income.

Add to that the absolute gall of the man...Gods alone know which female actually extracted this nugget of hardened bile from him. But his first attack, out of the gate, is pretty much a reminder that (whoever she was), she's failed at the single most important task of all women, everywhere: that of being pretty and sexually available (without, you know, being a "slut") to any potentially interested male.

There's so much wrong in that kind of thinking, I can't even properly break it down without resorting to flailing.

There's a great little article I want to send folks to read, and mostly because the text, while good, is made more impressive by some perfectly targeted graphics. Go for the graphics, stay for the summation, is my opinion.

But just to run down some basic concepts here...would anyone call any of these cosplayers "fake nerds", or just posing for the attention they'll get? What about Miracole Burns? Granted, it takes a bit of panache to carry off costumes like Ms. Marvel's, that are heavy on leg exposure...but she does it. She's done it for a lot of different costume properties--in fact, she's a professional model and makeup artist. But as she herself would mention, she's also an "uber-nerd", so...where's the dividing line between genuine geek, female edition, and poser geek, model edition?

I had every intention of exploring this a bit in this entry, but you know what? I think that deserved an entirely separate entry on its own. So expect more of this ranting to come!

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